A study into the stigmatization of "gay-sounding" voices found that British and American men expect to be discriminated against if they sound gay and make efforts not to be gay-sounding. More broadly, the study concerns essentialist beliefs about sexuality and voice.
The research highlighted that essentialist beliefs about homosexuality can result in "auditory gaydar," or the use of vocal cues to infer someone else's sexual orientation. Whether or not an individual "sounded gay" resulted in different levels of prejudice and avoidant discrimination. Generally speaking, a "gay voice" in a man is one that is higher-pitched, softer, lisping or more generally feminine, while a "lesbian voice" for a woman is one that is lower-pitched or more masculine, Fasoli said.